Sued51's Blog

{January 21, 2011}   Everybody Loves Jack

My friend Jane grew up with a kid named Jack (or “Jackie” as he was called in the neighborhood) who aspired to be an actor.  When Jackie became “Jack”, he got an arts education and performed in summer stock.  We were the proud recipients of one of his black-and-white 8 x10 promo photos.

As Jane’s friends, we got to know Jackie and we also became his friends.  We drove to Maine to see him perform in plays and flew stand-by to visit him in his roach-infested little apartment in New York. (The roaches were not a reflection on Jackie, who was quite neat; it was just the way it was back then.) When Jane and I were singing together and writing songs, Jackie was often our audience.  He helped us record one of our songs (nothing formal…we’re talking the old type tapes).  All this background is just to make it clear that what happened to Jackie’s photo was not out of disrespect or derision, but out of playfulness and affection.

It all started one day when Jane and I returned to her house after a workout at the gym. At that time she was still living at home with her parents and brother in the neighborhood where she and Jack grew up.  She walked down the hall to the doorway of her room and collapsed on the floor in a fit of laughter.  Trailing her by at least 10 feet, I yelled, “What’s going on?”  She couldn’t answer me; she just kept rolling on the floor laughing hysterically.  I stepped over her as best I could and looked into the room.  I fell against the wall, also laughing uncontrollably.  It was completely wallpapered with photocopied pictures of Jackie.  The culprit?  Her brother.  Hearing the uncontrollable laughter, he popped out of his room with a faux-innocent look, “What?”  The glove had been tossed.

Soon Jane’s brother Jimmy came home to find poster-sized versions of Jackie’s picture on the ceiling over his bed, and it didn’t stop there…shortly after that, the poster-sized pictures of Jackie migrated to the telephone poles in the neighborhood.  At that point some respect for his family kicked in and the posters were taken down.

But that wasn’t the end of the adventures for Jackie’s picture.  When my friend Julie and I got an apartment together, Jackie’s picture graced the living room wall.  He was an evolving part of the décor, changing for holidays, a chameleon who became the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause.  Jack may never have become the famous actor of his dreams, but in my mind and the minds of my friends, he will never be forgotten.

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